This sounds pretty well wrapped up, but I'm not convinced. Females who choose not to breed with the GM males will have normal healthy offspring. Any mating preference that causes the females to choose non-GM males will become highly successful. It doesn't matter what that mating preference is: if the males have a different colouring, a different smell, if they flap their wings a little too fast...it could be anything. And it doesn't have to apply *only* to the GM males, this trait could cause the females to select against non-GM males as well. The point is that any female with this selection preference will be highly successful since their female offspring will have wings and will thrive in an environment with very little intra-species competition.
This move could, at best, introduce an evolutionary bottleneck (where genetic diversity is suddenly greatly reduced), but I wouldn't expect it to cause extinction. TFA reports an 80% reduction of the A. aegypti population on the Grand Cayman Island in 2009, but I'd be interested to know if the population has bounced back and if the same GM males would have a similar effect again today. I'm guessing that the present population would tend to avoid the GM males next time around.
a prelude to the killing of Lotus Symphony
I fail to see a down-side to this.
I can only assume that they've corrected for General Relativity. Everyone seems to be pointing to the obvious potential sources of error: knowing when the neutrinos are created, knowing when they arrive, knowing the distance that they've traveled.
What about variations in the Earth's gravitational field between the two clocks? Or along the path that the neutrinos follow? You can't call the planet a point-source of gravity - the density of matter is quite lumpy.
I haven't seen a back-of-the-envelope calculation for this...maybe it's orders of magnitudes impossible? Would it require a tiny black hole to throw the timing off by 60ns...or would a big uranium deposit be enough? I could probably do the Lorenz transforms for Special Relativity myself, but General is a bit beyond me!
Since it is such a potentially high profile experiment, the cynic in me wonders why it didn't get published in a higher profile journal. Of course, not every important discovery is published in Nature or Science, but one wonders.
I hate to nit-pick, but it was published in Nature
Why would we use these as stepping stones? Is there an advantage to it? I don't understand why we would use them is all.
Because they are closer. from the article:
our nearest known neighbor will soon be a brown dwarf rather than Proxima Centauri.
So, we could stop off at one of these on the way to Proxima Centauri.
...because I am not the only one to use that specific login.
I cannot think of a single circumstance where this is necessary or a good idea.
Excuses for why is it the way it is don't count.
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley